We live in a complex world.
Just last week my wife was frustrated that after applying an ‘update’ to her iPhone 4S she lost sync with her iPad, Mac Pro and cloud services.
Today we brought a new microwave that was so complicated we stuck it back in the box and went back to our old one that had less features.
Everyone has some story to tell about using a new version of a product only to be stumped by the added complexity amazingly promoted as an “upgrade” or “improvement”.
And its getting worse.
Businesses are constantly adding more features to their products in a bid to win the loyalty of the customer.
But why is adding more features, thus more complexity, to a product a smart idea?
Maybe customers want stuff less complex?
Maybe customers don’t have time to learn new features that they will never use?
I brought a MAC years ago because I was absolutely frustrated with Microsoft’s operating systems constantly crashing. MAC offered less features – less complexity and it just worked. But now Apple is going the way of MS and adding far too many features to their products thus slowing down a once fast OS and making simple tasks complex.
Skitch – the most prized piece of software on my MAC – a simple yet elegant piece of software that provided few features but did one job perfectly. Then Evernote brought it, beat the crap out of it and released what they considered to be version 2.0 containing loads of features – which everyone hated. Evernote had to make version 1 downloadable again.
So maybe we should work on releasing less features for our products. Each feature we do offer works well and does what it states. Maybe customers would like something less complex since everything else in their life is far to bloody complex.